I’ve been reading a bit of Harry Potter recently and one of the things as an adult that you can appreciate is the characterisation. One of my absolute favourite characters is Dolores Umbridge she is perfectly condescending, meddling and nasty behind her pink facade. I think she is magnificently brought to life in the the films and each time I see her my stomach turns.
I’m working on a theory that everyone actually has a Dolores Umbridge in their lives, you usually only have one at any point unless you are really, really unlucky. I can name two in my life at the moment. It will come as no surprise that both are connected with my children’s school. They are probably not the people you think if you know me.
In my last job I encountered a real top class Dolores Umbridge and she had a major influence over my redundancy which made it very difficult. Myself and a colleague would refer to her as Dolores quite openly, no-one else got it which made it brilliant fun at times and lifted the edge off some very stressful moments.
The reason I write this is because Dolores Umbridge is a world class bully and I think that at this time of year its really worth reminding ourselves of this. After a summer of respite this is the season when bullies really start upping their game and it makes the rest of us quite vulnerable. I for one have already been the subject of some patronising which I hope goes no further. Each time I imagine Harry’s description of Dolores and it makes me smile. Ultimately, she comes unstuck.
If your child is worried about a bully or isn’t sure what to make of certain behaviours in another why not remind her of Dolores and tell them to picture the person with an enormous fly on their head, or dressed entirely in fluffy pink outfits. If nothing else it will make them smile.
I do hope the return to school has been smooth for everyone.